Taking My Time – Edison Ale House
“I’m late / I’m late / For a very important date. / No time to say “Hello, Goodbye”. / I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.” Lately, I cannot seem to get the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland out of my head. Every day I rush; to get here-to get there. Well, that was the case until I had in my hands two lower level tickets to the first Devils vs Rangers game since the infamous call of, “Henrique!!! It’s Over.”
I made it a priority to arrive at the Prudential Center early and arrived around 4:00 p.m., yep, even got there before the Devil Dancers. To my surprise the parking lot was already half-full, and the party seemed to have already started without me. In a parked car were Ranger fans relishing in libations of the hoppy kind (little did they know they would be drowning their sorrows later). First, on my pre-game itinerary was to hit the Devils Den and enjoy shopping without the crowds. I was able to check out each section of the store at my own pace and happily paid for my items without wait.
Now, it was time to head over to Edison Ale House. Typically, food for me at Devil games means eating my kids’ leftover chicken fingers, so it was a pleasure not to eat half eaten food off my lap. It was still early so I spoke with the General Manager, Tom Blume to give me a little insight into the joint. I asked him how the lockout affected business, and he said that it was down 50%, but the events coming into the Prudential Center certainly helped. The neighboring companies, newly built condos, repeat customers and loyal Seton Hall fans also kept the 1 year-old restaurant afloat in this trying economy.
The menu at Edison Ale House consists of your typical pub fare, but their emphasis is on fresh ingredients with homemade products. Some nice touches are the brick pizza oven found in the back of the restaurant, a custom- ground beef blend for their signature burgers and what I got the most excited about, the hand-cut fries they get delivered from a Jersey Shore French Fry distributer. Some of the dishes that also caught my eye were:
Black and Tan Onion Rings-Drizzled with Clover Honey and sprinkled with Sesame Seeds
Warm Bavarian Pretzel Sticks-Served with Champagne Garlic Honey Mustard and a Smoked Cheddar Sauce
Jersey Devil Pizza-Crumbled Sausage, Sliced Sweet and Hot Peppers and Mozzarella
Jersey Burger-Topped with Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese
Specialty Fries-Choice of Bay, Garlic and Sour Cream & Onion
Since I was in the Devils backyard, I wanted to eat what the locals eat, of course the locals meaning our own Devils players themselves. I was thrilled to discover that David Clarkson and Ilya Kovalchuck (among other players) eat there quite often for lunch. Holy Hockey! They like to eat healthy so their most ordered dish are the Grilled Chicken Wraps-Sliced Chicken, Tomato, Bacon, Cheddar Jack Cheese and Ranch Dressing. Clarkson likes to swap out the Ranch for Balsamic Dressing and Kovalchuck orders the Sweet Potato Fries-Dusted with Brown Sugar Spice served with Maple Cream Dip. Who knew he had a sweet tooth. Teammates on the ice and now a pairing on my plate-Clarky’s wrap with Kovy’s fries. Just like their gameplay the dish left me very happy. I washed it down with a Carton Brewing 077XX-East coast double IPA. It’s described as a perfectly balanced beer of hops and sweetness from Atlantic Highlands, NJ. Hey, it’s Jersey’s team so gotta drink the Jersey beer.
I did not want the White Rabbit to reappear again, so it was time to head over to the Prudential Center. I grabbed a Goose Island 312, took the time to look at the high school hockey jerseys in the main concourse and got settled in my seat without being rushed. I sure as hell was not going to miss a second of the intro or the game.
If you can, create your own pre-game ritual and take the time to explore what’s within the PruCenter at your leisure and/or patronize the businesses in its shadows. Hockey has returned, and I have learned it is a gift to oneself to take the time to savor every moment. Happy Hockey everyone!